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North American Weather (U.S.A & Canada)

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Best time lapse I've seen so far.    

I wish our downgrades were like that

February 15th Storm   Hello All,   Well its been quite a few weeks lately, we've had huge amounts of snow here in New Brunswick, the most I've seen in the 8 years I have lived here. I think in les

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Tropical Storm Bill Moving Ashore Over Texas


Tropical Storm Bill is pushing ashore over the Central Texas coast, bringing torrential rains and sustained winds near 60 mph. At 7:45 am CDT, the Brazos 538 oil rig off the Central Texas coast recorded sustained winds of 41 mph gusting to 64 mph. While heavy flooding rains are the main threat from Bill, a few weak tornadoes will also be be possible today, particularly in the Houston metropolitan area. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is giving a 40% chance that they will issue a tornado watch for the area today. Radar out of Corpus Christi and satellite images showed that Bill's heavy thunderstorms increased markedly in areal coverage and intensity on Tuesday morning, and its a good thing the storm did not have another twelve hours over water, or it would have become a hurricane. Bill's landfall in Texas makes the U.S. two-for-two so far for landfalls this hurricane season: Tropical Storm Ana, the first named storm of the season, hit South Carolina back on May 10. The last time the first two named storms of the season both made landfall in the U.S. was in 2001, when Tropical Storm Allison hit Texas and Tropical Storm Barry hit the Florida Panhandle. Bill is the fourteenth named storm to form in the Gulf of Mexico in the month of June since 1950 (thanks to Phil Klotzbach for this stat.)



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Bill Makes Landfall in Texas; Greatest Impact Still to Come



Less than 12 hours after it was named, Tropical Storm Bill pushed ashore near Matagorda Bau, Texas, at 11:45 am CDT Tuesday. Peak winds at landfall were 60 mph, with a gust to 53 mph reported at both Palacios and Port O’Connor, Texas. Some minor coastal flooding was observed, with the water level at Port Lavaca about 3 feet above normal, but on the whole Bill caused relatively little trouble along the Texas shore. That may not be the case inland over the next couple of days, as Bill churns slowly north and its showers and thunderstorms continue to organize.



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Snowpack in Rockies melts four to six weeks earlier than normal


June’s hot weather has completely wiped out this winter’s snowpack in the Rockies, prompting concerns Western Canada could be entering into a drought.


Last week, the mountain snowpack — already 10 to 25 per cent below normal — melted about four to six weeks earlier than expected by scientists monitoring the situation.


“The hot weather in the past few weeks has really wiped out the snowpack,†said John Pomeroy, a University of Saskatchewan hydrologist.


All of his 35 remote monitoring stations in the mountains — from the Athabasca glacier in the Columbia Icefields near Jasper to Fortress Mountain and Marmot Creek in Kananaskis Country — have no snow.



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Long-Lived Bill Meets its Demise in Mid-Atlantic


The books have finally been closed on Post-Tropical Cyclone Bill, which dumped heavy rain and clung to life as an identifiable system during a trek of more than 1,000 inland miles. The last advisory on Bill was issued by the NOAA Weather Prediction Center at 8:00 am EDT Sunday, almost five days after the cyclone made landfall on Matagorda Island, Texas, as a 60-mph tropical storm at 11:55 am CDT Tuesday, June 16. The poorly defined circulation associated with Bill was located on Sunday morning about halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia, with maximum sustained winds a paltry 10 mph. Bill wasn’t designated as a tropical storm until 10:00 pm CDT on Monday, June 15, so an impressive 89% of Bill’s lifespan as a named entity (115 of 129 hours) took place inland. The National Hurricane Center handed off responsibility for Tropical Depression Bill to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center at 4:00 am CDT Wednesday morning, when Bill was located south of Waco, TX. The system held together as a tropical depression much longer than expected--until 4:00 pm CDT Saturday afternoon (a total of 78 hours), when it was located about 65 miles NNW of Jackson, KY.



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Big Contrasts this Weekend: Roasting Out West, Soaking Back East


Sizzling temps on tap for Pacific Northwest

While it’s been an unusually hot, muggy June across much of the Southeast, the burners will soon be going full blast out West. Models are consistent in building strong high pressure across the western states late this week into next week. The results will be scorching temperatures, especially in parts of eastern Washington and Oregon where warm, dry weather in recent weeks has left the ground already parched. Highs are projected to range from 100°F to 110°F over most of the next 4 to 6 days across a large area. Excessive heat watches are in effect for both Portland and Seattle. Here are some of WU’s forecast highs compared to monthly and all-time records. (For more, see the roundup by Jon Erdman at weather.com).



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PECAN: Closest Look Yet at Nighttime Storms That Pummel Midwest



In most parts of the country, summer thunderstorms are most common in the afternoon or evening. Things are a bit different from the eastern Great Plains into the western Great Lakes. Across this core swath of the Midwest, lightning is most likely to zigzag across the summer sky during the wee hours of the morning. Along with disrupting countless nights of sleep, these middle-of-the-night thunderstorms are renowned for torrential rain, large hail, and destructive wind. One of several vivid examples from the past week was the supercell that moved across western South Dakota on Friday night, June 19, killing livestock with softball-sized hail before morphing into an larger complex that sent wind gusts of 60 to 100 mph across the southern half of the state well past midnight, finally reaching southwest Minnesota around 3:00 a.m. See radar loop here (also embedded at the bottom of this post).



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Unprecedented June Heat in Northwest U.S. Caused by Extreme Jet Stream Pattern


A searing heat wave unprecedented for June scorched the Northwest U.S. and Western Canada on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures soared to their highest June levels in recorded history for portions of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia; both Idaho and Washington set all-time high temperature records for the month of June on Sunday. According to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, the 113°F measured in Walla Walla, Washington beat that state's previous June record of 112°F, set at John Day Dam on June 18, 1961. In addition, the 111°F reading at Lewiston, Idaho was that state's hottest June temperature on record. An automated station at Pittsburg Landing, Idaho hit 116°F, but that reading will have to be verified before being considered official. A slew of major stations set all-time June heat records on both Saturday and Sunday in Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and at least two tied their hottest temperature for any day in recorded history. A destructive wildfire hit Wenatchee, Washington overnight, destroying twelve buildings. Wenatchee set a new June record high of 109°F on Sunday, just one degree shy of their all-time record of 110°F set on July 17-18, 1941. Jon Erdman of TWC has full details of all the records set. Sunday will end up being the hottest day of the heat wave for most locations in the Northwest U.S. and Western Canada, but temperatures will still be 10 - 15°F above average most of the remainder of the week.



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What to Expect from El Niño: North America


We’re now well into the ramp-up phase of what promises to be one of the top three El Niño events of the last 60-plus years. Sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Niño3.4 region--an area straddling the eastern tropical Pacific--are the most widely accepted index for the oceanic evolution of El Niño. NOAA announced in its weekly ENSO update on Monday (see PDF) that Niño3.4 SSTs were running 1.6°C degrees above the seasonal average for the week ending Monday. While this is down slightly from a peak of 1.7°C the week before, Michelle L’Heureux reminds us in NOAA’s ENSO Blog that minor weekly variations aren’t worth getting too worked up about. The latest value still keeps the current El Niño in the “strong†category (Niño3.4 SSTs at least 1.5°C above average). Unusually warm waters now extend from the South America coast westward to the International Date Line in a classic El Niño signature (see Figure 1), with widespread above-average SSTs at least partially related to El Niño extending northward across much of the northeast Pacific. For much of 2014, the atmosphere failed to respond to several brief warmings of the eastern tropical Pacific, but now both ocean and air are locked into the synchrony that builds and sustains the strongest El Niño events. Westerly winds bursts continue to kick up across the tropical Pacific, pushing warm water downward and eastward in the form of lumbering, downwelling Kelvin waves that push toward the shores of South America, where they act to suppress the normal upwelling of cooler water.



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Extensive smoke haze continues across many parts of the Pacific northwest region (WA, OR, ID, MT, BC) mostly from fires in central and northern WA state although some fires are still burning in the other states and province mentioned. Here's a recent picture that I took of forest fire smoke near Crater Lake in southern Oregon, as well as some new small fires on a ridge in northwest Montana. At the present time, back home in the Vancouver area, a slight haze has developed as winds are now southeasterly.


This has been one of the hottest and certainly the driest summer in modern times. While on our travels, the Portland TV weather segment mentioned that PDX (Portland airport) had already broken its annual record for 90 degree days (I think they are pushing 40 now) set in 2009. Their highest reading of the summer is 103 F, compared to 95 F at SEA and probably about 90 F in Vancouver. Some inland locations have seen readings as high as 113 F. If one of these major fires ever got close to an official weather station, you have to wonder if the global record of 134 to 136 (depending on source) might be shattered although I don't know who would stick around to record it.





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